Friday, September 19, 2014

Leader-I-Tis: My Response To Failures In Leadership--September 18, 2014


Leadership Observations From Where I Sit

Like many of you I have been grieved by the flood of news stories of leadership failures in the Church. There is no need for me to mention the names of the abusive pastors, their churches, and their denominations or associations. They are already all over the news. I do not desire to give any of these failed leaders any more publicity.  This toxic outbreak of leadership abuse in not limited to a particular brand of Christianity. We are grossly offended by the stories of church leaders—both Catholic and Evangelical--abusing innocent children. Time and again we learn of out of control pastors who intimidate with their anger and lust for power as they disarm the people who are charged to hold them accountable with their charismatic personalities. We grow weary of their “me first” mentality instead of living out a “Christ only” leadership posture. 
 
            Why now? Why add to the countless editorial comments? Because I believe this is an issue of incredible importance. I have seen far too many dear people wounded by abusive pastors. I have been disappointed by the lack of courage displayed by leaders who have feared man more than God and have failed in their responsibility to care for the Lord’s flock. I know that I am not alone in raising this issue. There are others. For instance, I have been following the blog of my friend Brent Detwiler (BrentDetwiler.com) who has displayed incredible courage in speaking out against abusive leadership. Perhaps I can encourage you if you have personally experienced the brunt of toxic, abusive leadership: There is hope for you!
            I have been blessed to belong to some really great organizations where leadership was as advertised—excellent! There are many pastors, churches, and businesses that are getting it right. I’ve also been negatively impacted by organizations where leadership was horribly lacking. I want to offer you clarity and hope that you can have an effective voice and speak out for what is true. A healthy, growing person does not just become a victim in the face of challenging hardships. Unlike some, they thrive when they begin to apply the antidote to the sickness of what I term, “Leader-I-Tis.” In other words, they have learned how to Live Above The Fray. I’ve included some selections from my book. I’ve learned a lot. I believe you can too. 

Lets begin with this thought:

There is an epidemic of bad leadership in the worst of all places: The Church. The Lord God has a very strong opinion of leaders who act badly:

 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:1-4)

LEADER-I-TIS
What is it?
Leader-I-Tis is a horrible disease that attacks once healthy organizations and severely impairs them, rendering them mostly ineffective and impotent. Leader-I-Tis is the leading cause of broken relationships and the killing of vision in an organization. Highly contagious, those without a strong backbone are highly susceptible to infection. If detected early, there is a cure that may save the organization from irrelevance. If Leader-I-Tis is ignored and rationalized away, a slow and painful death of the organization is the certain outcome.

An excerpt from Living Above The Fray:
            This leads to another early sign that Leader-I-Tis is lurking right under the surface. There are some leaders who lead, not out of courage and boldness, but out of fear and intimidation. These leaders are afraid of the stronger personality in the room (the one who yells loudest with words or with body language or both). Instead of standing by one’s convictions, these timid leaders seek to avoid conflict at all cost. It does not matter to them what they feel in their heart. What matters to them is not to rock the boat but urgently seek to just get along and not be yelled at by the leader. At the core of their being they want to be accepted and made a part of the elitist club within the organization (even if it means losing all dignity and self-respect). Leader-I-Tis, in its beginning stages sears the conscience. It is a wound that cannot be seen by others on one’s skin. No, it is far deeper and more damaging than that. Instead, the germ of Leader-I-Tis is aggressive and can forever change the personality, the destiny and well being of the stricken leader.

            Leader-I-Tis grows in an organization when personalities become more important than the greater good of the organization. A self-serving culture is formed where the organization is designed to meet the needs of its leaders instead of the leaders meeting the needs of the organization. Instead of servant leadership being the expectation of every leader, the organization’s leaders live a life of self-entitlement. It is this sense of entitlement from leaders with Leader-I-Tis that drains the very life out of the organization.
From Living Above The Fray (Pg. 15-16)

An excerpt from Living Above The Fray:
Another example of what some need cleansing from false teaching is when toxic church leaders allow the self-promotion of a pastor who becomes greater than the message of the cross. What may have been a humble beginning may over time evolve into a personality cult (or using more biblical terms, it is called idolatry). In some cases, there are some who are expected by the church leadership to turn a blind eye to the personality cult the church leaders are fostering. In some toxic churches, Jesus has been replaced by a leader’s charm and manipulation. I’m sure that most leaders do not start this way, but a man can only take so much adoration and worship until he (and his rabid fans) actually believe the messenger becomes more important than the Message.
No doubt, a pastor may faithfully preach the Gospel for many years and experience spiritual fruit. But because of his own shallowness and insecurities he is willing to solicit the praise of others at the expense of enabling a congregation to slip and slide into idolatry . . . of him. His “teaching” from the pulpit may always come from the Bible, but his desire to be a “rock star” will teach other things too.
We rightly think of false teaching as some gross perversion of our sacred doctrines. But the personality worship of charismatic leaders is also another aspect of false teaching. It is not strange to think that since we live in a culture that promotes the adoration of athletes, actors, and musicians, that some of this would seep into the culture of the western church. If you are going to succeed and live above the fray, you’ve got to stick to His Word and keep Jesus Lord of all.
Perhaps you are swimming in a toxic sea of “these things” and need to be cleansed. Whatever you do, do not swallow the water. Simply get out of the poison and cleanse yourself today. How does one cleanse oneself? The cleaning agent is grace. Wash yourself with it.
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Ezekiel 36:25 (NASB95)
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:2-3 (NASB95)
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NASB95)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NASB95)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB95)
From Living Above The Fray (Pg. 46-48)

An excerpt from Living Above The Fray:
Narcissus was a young man, according to Greek mythology, who was enamored with his beauty. Staring into the stream, he leaned over and gazed with a power that would not allow him to pull back. He became so mesmerized by his reflected image that he became a prisoner of his own ego. He fell into the water and drowned. And as the legend has it, he turned into a flower called the Narcissus, which bloomed at the edge of the stream. 

            Narcissus is a myth, but his story represents the kind of people we are to avoid. And may I add, the kind of people we do not want to become! Some call them “center-stage people.” Another descriptive word is “self-centered.” Some use the term “rock star” to describe the narcissist. In the heart of hearts, the narcissist is convinced that the world revolves around him or her and they see it as their moral obligation to convince everyone around them of that fact.
We are engaged in a great struggle as we live in a culture where we are supposed to get our own way, to do our own thing, and to look out for number one—me. Perhaps without even realizing what is going on, many have enabled the blind ambitions of those who wish to live unaccountable lives. The way of the arrogant, the self-centered, the rebellious, and the abusive is often celebrated (or at least tolerated), not always rejected. When the life of the spiritual narcissist is accepted as the norm, “group think” takes over and then any kind of rebuke is seen as judging or unfairly critical. In this crazy world, political correctness has run amuck, even among people who claim to be a Christian and go to church.
Now here is the danger of which Paul is writing. The negative qualities, which are listed in the following verses, are especially appealing to those who feel they are “entitled” because of their position. Like a moth drawn to the flame, they do not think twice about being lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, etc. Those who have a serious case of spiritual narcissism are drawn to these attributes. In a moment we are going to take a closer look at each one of these negative characteristics, but before then, allow me to share a story with you that will illustrate one way narcissistic leaders can bring harm to their organization.
I always believed that bullies were confined to two places: on the school playground during recess and on the school bus coming home. I also believed that once young bullies grew up they would outgrow their innate need to keep on bullying others. I was mistaken. Young bullies also grow up and remain bullies. They have had plenty of time to refine their “art” as adults. One would think that bullying only takes place in the school playground or on the job site, but in a church? Really? Yes, really. That’s where I met my bullies.
There are some people who use their “power” to manipulate others in order to get their way. Leading out of fear and their own insecurity, the workplace bully seeks to intimidate others to cower and bow down. The great and wonderful Wizard of Oz is a revealing illustration of the classic bully. He was all about himself in the bully mode when the curtain was closed. But it was brave Toto, the wonder dog, who pulled the curtain back revealing a boisterous man who lost all of his courage when he was revealed. The pulling back of the curtain also gave instant courage to those who were being bullied. An important principle to remember is that spiritual bullying can cause great harm and it needs to be exposed. As the spiritual bully surrounds himself with his or her protective entourage, danger looms for the disciple of Jesus. This passage of Scripture reminds us of how serious it is:
And men will rise up from your own number with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. Acts 20:30 (HCSB)
There are many deviant doctrines from which we can pick and choose. In this case, the deviant doctrine I am underscoring is the personality cult, where people with apparent good sense are deluded by the power of the spiritual bully.
From Living Above The Fray (Pg. 68-71)

An excerpt from Living Above The Fray:
Here is what I learned about living above the fray. There are no guarantees we will not go through times of intense suffering at the hands of those who have all of the power in the room. Your situation may be awkward and deeply troubling on so many levels. You may love where you work but the work environment has become toxic. There may be many good people in place but they fail to lead and protect you on their watch. You face a serious choice of the heart: will you continue to be the victim or will you become the victor instead? For us, the challenge is will we allow our negative experiences to embitter us or will we rise to the occasion and walk in forgiveness?
Years ago, this is what I did. I prayed. For a month I prayed these words for the man who so hurt and offended me, “God have mercy on him.” I prayed this prayer every day for two weeks. At the end of the second week, I added this prayer for the other leaders who failed me to my daily office (prayer cycle): “God have mercy on him and God have mercy on them.” I prayed this prayer for a week. Then, in the fourth week I added this prayer for him and them with this: “God have mercy on him and God have mercy on them and God have mercy on me.”
By the end of the week of praying that prayer, the Lord answered my prayer (and least I know He did for me). I believe that in God’s mercy He released me and in so doing freed me from a place of spiritual bullying and emotional abuse to a place of eventual restoration and renewal. If you want to live above the fray, you’ve got to love the hard to love people and you’ve got to pray for those who have hurt you and disappointed you. And just as important, you’ve got to pray for yourself too.
From Living Above The Fray (Pg. 77-79)


For information how you and your leadership team can purchase 
Living Above The Fray, please click on the link below.



“This book provides an excellent how-to guide for overcoming our circumstances and becoming the kind of leaders who practice what we believe.” ~ Dr. Lee Pearson / Director of Operations, SC Institute of Medicine and Public Health



Books on workplace bullying, spiritual abuse, and moving on to new beginnings

            There are an abundance of excellent resources on these topics. I’ve selected a few of the books from my own leadership library that I have found to be very helpful.

Namie, Gary & Ruth. 2009. The bully at work: what you can do to stop the hurt and reclaim your dignity on the job. Naperville, IN: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Johnson, David & Van Vonderen, Jeff. 1991. The subtle power of spiritual abuse. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers.
Cloud, Henry. 2010. Necessary endings. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Foyle, Marjory. 2001. Honorably wounded: stress among Christian workers. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
Arterburn, Stephen & Felton, Jack. 1991. Toxic faith: understanding and overcoming religious addiction. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Enroth, Ronald. 1993. Churches that abuse. 1993. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Enroth, Ronald. Recovering from churches that abuse. 1994. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Essential Spiritual Growth Resources from
Something New Christian Publishers
and Quality Leadership Consultants

Websites, Newsletter, and Blogs:
www.dennybates.com is the hub for all of our teaching and coaching resources. Check out our free downloads as well as our store.
www.thequalitydisciple.com links to dennybates.com.
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www.thequalitydisciple.blogspot.com is the teaching blog for Psalms of Discipleship.
www.facebook.com/denny.bates is my portal to social networking.
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You can follow me on Twitter @dennybates

Praise For Living Above The Fray
“Denny has a tremendous heart for people, a very personal approach and a great desire to be a leader of men.  Living Above The Fray is very much a case study for anyone who would be curious about the inner workings of a non profit organization and the challenges it presents.” ~ Dennis D. Wells M.Min., M.A., LPC / Wellsprings Professional Counseling

 “Denny [has] walked me through what it means to be a disciple.  He taught me about mentoring, boundaries, and the richness of investing in others.  This book can be beneficial to men and women who desire to lead through serving. Leadership skills are largely developed through experience.  This book will provide leaders with an opportunity to reflect and go deeper.  In our fast-paced society the importance of this practice is oftentimes disregarded, from our prayer time, to our parenting, to our relationship building, and unfortunately to our leadership development.  Only when we slow down and take the time to see and seek wisdom in these areas do we experience true and lasting growth.” ~ Erika Miller / M.S. Clinical Psychology

“I applaud you on publishing this book and truly trust that many, both leaders and followers, will benefit and be blessed by reading and following the 7 Leadership Principles as a package strongly founded on Scriptural principles.” ~ Jack Walker / Founding Executive Director of Leadership Ministries Worldwide, Former Missionary Pilot and area director with Mission Aviation Fellowship

“This book provides an excellent how-to guide for overcoming our circumstances and becoming the kind of leaders who practice what we believe.” ~ Dr. Lee Pearson / Director of Operations, SC Institute of Medicine and Public Health

“People are often unaware that they work in environments that are unhealthy, or they know the environment is unhealthy but can't understand exactly why.  This book by Denny Bates clarifies so many of the issues and contrasts them with a healthy Biblical approach, giving readers the clarity and wisdom they need to deal with circumstances where they are or to know what to look for as they seek a healthier place to serve the Lord.” ~ Stacey Severance / Worship Leader and Youth Pastor

“I have had the privilege of working with Denny for many years.  Denny always amazed me at his insight and perspective in stressful and challenging situations.  Denny has truly lived what he has written.  I am thankful that I can call him a mentor.  If anyone has ever lived what they have written about it is Denny Bates. I believe this book is best suited for anyone who finds themselves in a challenging relationship situation, whether it be personal or professional relationship.” ~ Reeves Cannon, M.A., LPC, BCPCCC 

“I have been reading Denny's books and blog for several years in addition to attending his teachings on leadership. His ability to communicate via the written word is extraordinary. He has a way of communicating that is second to none. He writes and teaches based on his personal experience and lessons he has learned over a 30+ year career in both the private sector and the ministry.” ~ Lamar Younginer B.S., M.S., / College Administrator

For Denny Bates” Living Above the Fray” is not just a book of words about life. It’s the way he lives his life based on the Living word of Life, which he proclaims in every counseling session, every prayer, every encouragement for every one he meets and serves.” ~ Dick Brown / President and CEO of Corporate Medical Services

“I have known Denny Bates for more than forty years.  I have watched him, as have others, in order to study what a walk with Christ really looks like.  Denny has set the bar high for the men around him...and he hasn't tried to do this...it is just who he is.  Denny can be seen regularly at coffee shops and quiet corners mentoring men in their own walks with the Lord.  I have seen Denny weather some tough storms that would have taken most men down with the ship, but his constant faith in the Lord he serves has allowed him to use those same storms to better equip and counsel other men, young and old, as they sit under his surgeon like discipling and training.  I thank God for Dr. Denny Bates and the man that he has helped me become.” ~ Wick Jackson / Sinner saved by Incredible Grace Husband Daddy Owner of Black Mountain Development Group Latin American Director of Envoy International

Email dennybates@gmail.com
www.dennybates.com



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Psalms of Discipleship. Principle #42 (Worship). July 19, 2014

Hello my dear friends! Are you JOYful or joyLESS today? That is the theme of today's Psalms of Discipleship. One of the ways we can increase our joy is to increase our thankfulness.

This quote from Michael Hyatt frames our discussion:

The truth is that we will never have more of what we truly desire until we become fully thankful for what we have. —Michael Hyatt

A thankful heart always leads to a joyful one.

Learning with you,

Denny

Psalms of Discipleship—Principle #42

Life Principles For Those Who Choose To Follow Jesus And Live The Discipled Life

Key Scripture: Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Psalm 100:1

Core Value: Worship

Joy, exuberant joy, is a vital commodity for the disciple of Jesus Christ. There are some who simply endure their brand of Christianity. Their faith is nothing more than a mundane religious experience—a lot of activity but offers nothing that ever produces any measure of joy. How sad. How frequent. How come?

Often, it is because they have replaced a relationship with God founded upon love (grace) and embraced a religion based upon performance (works).

Those who “enJoy” the Lord have discovered the power behind their ability to experience joy, no matter how challenging the present circumstance may be. They experience His joy and receive His strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Here is the takeaway: God never requires us to do something without first giving us all of the resources we need to obey Him. In this case, we are able to shout joyfully to the Lord because He has filled our heart with joy. He gives it. We give it right back to Him.

Principle #42 & Personal Application: Quality disciples shout joyfully to the Lord.

• When we are full of His joy we shout.

• When we are full of His joy we shout joyfully to the Lord.

• When we are full of His joy we shout joyfully to the Lord along with all the earth.

Reflect & Respond: Some Really Good Questions To Ponder…

How does it make you feel when you experience the joy of the Lord?

In what ways does His joy impact your worship of Him?

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, my worship of You is prompted by Your grace that fills my heart. Because of all You have done for me I will shout joyfully to You along with all the earth.

You can learn how to live as a Quality Disciple and a DiscipleMaker4Jesus by visiting my website at www.dennybates.com and my teaching blog at http://thequalitydisciple.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Psalms of Discipleship. Principle #41. (Worship) June 29, 2014

Hello my dear friends! Much grace to you today. Is is possible that we can worship God but do it for all of the wrong reasons? I believe it is not only possible but very likely IF we worship Him for the wrong reasons.

Today's reminder from Psalms of Discipleship is to make certain that our worship is authentic, not artificial.

Learning with you,

Denny

Psalms of Discipleship—Principle #41

Life Principles For Those Who Choose To Follow Jesus And Live The Discipled Life

Key Scripture: Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For holy is the LORD our God. Psalm 99:9

Core Value: Worship

Worship is more than an action. It is also an emotion. Some people believe that “just doing it” will appease God and add another point to their ever-growing list of brownie points. It is entirely possible to worship God and yet have your heart far from Him.

The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Isaiah 29:13 (NIV)

6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ 8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Mark 7:6-8 (NLT)

The kind of worship Jesus is after comes from the heart. It is a worship of love and adoration of Him.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37 (NLT)

May our worship be authentic and not artificial.

Principle #41 & Personal Application: Quality disciples exalt the Lord our God.

• We worship the LORD

• We worship the LORD our God

• We worship the LORD, a holy God

Reflect & Respond: Some Really Good Questions To Ponder…

God would never require me to do something I could not do. What does it mean to exalt Him?

In what ways does His holiness impact the way I worship God?

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, it is by faith that I exalt You, the Lord my God. May my worship of You be received as an act of reverence and awe for Who You are: for You are holy and my God
.
You can learn how to live as a Quality Disciple and a DiscipleMaker4Jesus by visiting my website at www.dennybates.com and my teaching blog at http://thequalitydisciple.blogspot.com
 
Do you like to read? Here is a list of my favorite books on leadership and discipleship. Check it out on the link below:
http://www.dennybates.com/#!great-reads-for-the-leader/cq20

Friday, June 20, 2014

Psalms of Discipleship. Principle #40 (Prayer) June 20, 2014

Hello my dear friends! Have you ever "forgotten" that we serve a supernatural God who answers our prayers in a supernatural way. This psalm is a good reminder of how God works in and through us.

Learning with you,

Denny



Psalms of Discipleship—Principle #40

Life Principles For Those Who Choose To Follow Jesus And Live The Discipled Life

Key Scripture:
6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called on His name; They called upon the LORD, and He answered them. 7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; They kept His testimonies, And the statute that He gave them. 8 O LORD our God, Thou didst answer them; Thou wast a forgiving God to them, And yet an avenger of their evil deeds   Psalm 99:6-8

Core Value: Prayer

“It’s impossible!” is what many of us feel when our circumstances skew our perspective of how big God really is in our lives. Many kinds of fears cause us to back up from crossing the finish line of victory. Fears like . . .

•    I’m not good enough

•    I’m never going to reach my dreams

•    I’m always being overlooked and no one will give me a chance

When we believe that our prayers are directed towards a supernatural God who responds in supernatural ways we will never be the same again. Impossibilities are simply God’s platform to show off His glory. May He show off His glory in and through each one of us.

1 O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me.
2 Many are saying of my soul, "There is no deliverance for him in God." Selah.
3 But Thou, O LORD, art a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
4 I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. Psalm 3:1-4 (NASB77)

Principle #40 & Personal Application: Quality disciples call upon a supernatural God who responds in supernatural ways.

•    We call upon a God who is The Lord of our lives

•    We call upon a God who answers us in supernatural ways

•    We call upon a God who offers us supernatural forgiveness instead of his awful wrath

Reflect & Respond: Some Really Good Questions To Ponder…

When I pray to God how keenly aware am I of His desire to listen to my requests?

When is the last time I experienced a supernatural response to my prayers?

Prayer:
    Lord Jesus, when I call upon Your Name may my heart be aware of Your great power and love for me. Help me have great faith to believe You for supernatural responses to my prayers. May Your mercy and forgiveness flood my heart when my sin besets me.

You can learn how to live as a Quality Disciple and a DiscipleMaker4Jesus by visiting my website at www.dennybates.com and my teaching blog at http://thequalitydisciple.blogspot.com

Dr. Denny Bates & Something New Christian Publishers © 2014 All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Psalms of Discipleship (Worship) Principle #39--May 3, 2014

Hello my dear friends. No matter how much the world changes around us, one truth remains the same: we love and serve a God who is holy. It is entirely possible that we can drift away with the currents of "if it feels good do it" and "everyone does right in their own eyes." What keeps us from becoming a shell of who we need to be? We need to be keeping our focus upon our God who is holy. The Psalmist gives us a wonderful template on how it can be done, through grace.

Learning with you,

Denny

Psalms of Discipleship—Principle #39

Life Principles For Those Who Choose To Follow Jesus And Live The Discipled Life

Key Scripture: 3 Let them praise Thy great and awesome name; Holy is He. 4 And the strength of the King loves justice; Thou hast established equity; Thou hast executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. 5 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool; Holy is He. Psalm 99:3-5

Core Value: Worship

It has been said that we live what we believe. Or do we? We believe it is against the law to break the speed limit when we drive our car, but many of us do it anyhow (sometimes). We would agree that eating too much of the unhealthy foods we love to consume is bad for us, but we do it because we like it (a lot).

As disciples of Jesus we would agree that God is holy and because He is this truth should influence what we say, what we think, and what we do; but does it? This is the grace-empowered goal for us: to live in a way where His holiness makes a difference in us and then through us. How is it done?

Perhaps this will help:

But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)! 2 Peter 3:18 (AMP)

Grace is the portal towards a greater worship of God. Step on in.

Principle #39 & Personal Application: Quality disciples worship an awesome God: Holy is He

• We worship a God who is great and has an awesome name: Holy is He

• We worship a God who loves justice: Holy is He

• We worship a God who is exalted: Holy is He

• We worship a God who is worthy of all praise: Holy is He

Reflect & Respond: Some Really Good Questions To Ponder…

When I focus upon the word “Holy” what kinds of thoughts come to my mind?

What kinds of feelings rise upon inside my heart when I focus upon His holiness?

How does my focus upon a holy God influence what I say . . . what I think . . . what I do?

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, may I ever seek to praise Your great and holy name. I thank You that You love justice and are righteous in all Your ways. I thank You for the honor of being able to exalt You, sit at Your footstool and worship You. May the confession of my mouth always be: Holy is He.

Dr. Denny Bates & Something New Christian Publishers © 2014 All rights reserved.

Looking for a wonderful companion tool for Psalms of Discipleship? Check out this link:
Consultant/Ministry/Resources for leaders/Coaching

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Psalms of Discipleship. Principle #38 (Worship) April 19, 2014

Hello my dear friends. As we experience this Holy Weekend of Easter and The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus, the Psalmist reminds us of the greatness and glory of God. Only a great God can reign. Only a great God can save us from our sins. Only a great God can die and rise again.

He is risen!

Denny

Psalms of Discipleship—Principle #38

Life Principles For Those Who Choose To Follow Jesus And Live The Discipled Life

Key Scripture: 1 The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake! 2 The LORD is great in Zion, And He is exalted above all the peoples. Psalm 99:1-2

Core Value: Worship

Frequent obstacles to a greater faith can discourage many of those who follow Jesus. The choices to trust in the Lord or give up and quit come every day. Big problems require a bigger God. When we see our God as a small god, our problems overwhelm us. When we lift up our eyes of faith and gaze upon the One who reigns over all, we gain a fresh perspective and rise above our obstacles. This is the way of worship: thinking upon Him, instead of them.

What obstacles are holding you back from experiencing His victory and His peace?

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 (NASB)

Principle #38 & Personal Application: Quality disciples are in awe of the majesty and glory of God

• We serve a great God who reigns over all the earth: even over our heart

• We have an awesome respect for the One who makes the earth shake: holding us together when our heart has been shaken

• We have a great heritage: we are connected by our Great Lord with every believer—present, past, and future

Reflect & Respond: Some Really Good Questions To Ponder…

What spiritual discipline helps me to focus upon God’s greatness?

When do I sense the Lord’s greatness the most?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You are great. You do reign over all of the earth. You reign over every nation. You reign over my heart. May my worship of You this day give You all glory and all praise.

You can learn how to live as a Quality Disciple and a DiscipleMaker4Jesus by visiting my website at www.dennybates.com and my teaching blog at http://thequalitydisciple.blogspot.com
 
Want to experience Psalms of Discipleship in book form? Check out this link and learn how to purchase your copy today.

http://www.amazon.com/Psalms-Discipleship-Journey-Shepherd-Volume/dp/0615653316/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397930199&sr=8-1&keywords=a+one+year+journey+with+the+shepherd

Dr. Denny Bates & Something New Christian Publishers © 2014 All rights reserved.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Psalms of Discipleship. Principle #37 (Evangelism) March 31, 2014

Hello my dear friends! After a lengthy break of writing Psalms of Discipleship, I'm back :)

Today's Psalms of Discipleship gives us a peek into the heart of the Psalmist as he celebrates the Greatness of His Awesome God. The best kind of evangelism is when we are living like God is Great in our lives.

Learning to live in His Greatness,

Denny


Psalms of Discipleship—Principle #37

Life Principles For Those Who Choose To Follow Jesus And Live The Discipled Life

Key Scripture: 7 Let the sea roar and all it contains, The world and those who dwell in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands; Let the mountains sing together for joy 9 Before the LORD; for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with equity. Psalm 98:7-9

Core Value: Evangelism

Awesome. Glorious. Wonderful. Mighty. Amazing. Magnificent. These are the kinds of words the disciple of Jesus uses when seeking to describe the kind of God he or she follows. When our life is filled with challenges that often suspend disbelief, we need to have a relationship with our Great God who is Awesome, Glorious, Wonderful, Mighty, Amazing, and Magnificent.

What is it that will attract the person without Christ to fall in love with and follow Him? Surely not in us proclaiming a god who is less than awesome, inglorious, not wonderful at all, weak instead of mighty, un-amazing, and who falls way short of being magnificent.

The role of the follow of Jesus is very clear: we need to tell the world who God says He is and what He is like. We need to proclaim the awesome power and great love of God to those who have yet to surrender their hearts to Him.

Principle #37 & Personal Application: Quality disciples enthusiastically proclaim the awesome power and great love of God.

• Our great God is praised by the roaring sea

• Our great God is praised by the mighty rivers and the majestic mountains

• Our great God is praised by you and by me

• Our great God is coming back again for you and for me

Reflect & Respond: Some Really Good Questions To Ponder…

In what way does creation remind me of God’s greatness?

How does my focus upon God’s power help me share His love with the lost?

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, may the sea and rivers and mountains never out-praise me in my worship of You. May I live my life in a way where those without a relationship with You will come to know of Your great love for them.


You can learn how to live as a Quality Disciple and a DiscipleMaker4Jesus by visiting my website at www.dennybates.com and my teaching blog at http://thequalitydisciple.blogspot.com
 
Dr. Denny Bates & Something New Christian Publishers © 2014 All rights reserved.